I've been trying to learn harmonium on my own for a while now, and I've tried a couple of videos online and picked up some ragas from here and there. But I just couldn't get a normal pattern or a course to follow and which I can commit to.

The intent of learning is to be musically literate and be able to understand raags/ragas of Indian(Hindustani) classical music. I don't know any other instruments; I don't know harmonium either, but I can at least catch dead simple rhythms on it by trying for an hour or so. I wonder if I can even do it without a proper master!

By classic book, I mean something which has been an authority or epitome of good pedagogy in the field for quite some time.

I don't wish to learn the western style, but if it can get me started I won't mind following it religiously. I do have a keyboard, but no harmonium, keyboard's got harmonium's tone so I practice on it!


closed as off-topic by Dom Feb 7 at 17:05

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    Taken from (music.stackexchange.com/tour ): "Avoid questions that are primarily opinion-based, or that are likely to generate discussion rather than answers." I believe that there is some room for this question, so I won't flag it. I think the idea is that it should be possible for a definitive answer to exist from the way you word the question. But also questions asking for product recommendations and lists are discouraged. – amalgamate Jun 3 '15 at 13:51

What the harmonium is great for is playing Bhajans or Kirtan.

If your intent is to learn Indian classical music, a keyboard instrument is not ideal for a couple of reasons:

  1. Tuning - Many ragas, while they can be approximated using the western 12-note scale, have notes that are not exactly in tune with a harmonium or piano. From wikipedia on Indian Classical music:

    Indian music uses just-intonation tuning, unlike most modern Western classical music, which uses the equal-temperament tuning system.

  2. Changing the pitch of a note - The ability to slide from one note to another, or to ornament a note by changing it's pitch slightly is an essential part of the Indian classical music language. The term is Meend (similar to glissandi in Western classical music), and is not possible on keyboard instruments like the piano or harmonium (unless you use an electronic keyboard with a pitch bend).

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